Govt to BlackBerry: Give real-time intercepts and not deferred

In a bid to break the logjam, the smart phone maker has offered to provide information on a deferred basis after it faced the threat of a shutdown of the core features by August 31 if security agencies cannot gain access to heavily encyrpted corporate email sent on a Blackberry handset.

The Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the smart phones, along with the Department of Telecom had submitted a proposal for intercepting the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services. Under this proposal, a mobile number needed for monitoring would have to be handed over to the RIM who would in turn providethe information within a maximum of 10 days.

However, the security agencies insisted on a real time information rather than a deferred one in the interest of national security. "Now for example if two terrorists are negotiating a strike, you can't expect us to wait for 10 days," remarked a senior Home Ministry official

The BlackBerry makers are racing against time to meet the August 31 deadline set by the Government last week to provide a solution for intercepting the BBM and BlackBerry Enterprise Mail (BES) or see the prospect of the mobile phone's popular services in the shut down in the country.

The officials of RIM, which has a subscriber base of nearly one million in India, have informed the government that they would be coming again next week with a more precise solution which will help the Indian security agencies monitor the services. Only after security agencies are satisfied with the technology of interception, a green signal would be given for continuation of the services, the official said.

In a letter to Department of Telecom Secretary P J Thomas, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had asked him to convey to the operators and Canada-based RIM that a technical solution to make available lawful interception of BES and BlackBerry Messenger Services BBM must be found out by the end of this month. This move prompted the BlackBerry maker to take steps to end the logjam by agreeing to provide technical solution on the issue of interception of its services.

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